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Nat Immunol. 2000 Sep;1(3):239-44.

A cellular calculus for signal integration by T cells.

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Immune Regulation Group, Medical Foundation, University of Sydney, Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology, Newtown, Sydney 2042 NSW, Australia.


During an immune response numerous receptor-mediated signals delivered to T cells direct their proliferation, survival and differentiation. Here, we describe a quantitative model and in vitro methods for assessing the "calculus" used by T cells to process these multiple signals. The model reveals how T cells convert independently received signals into linear additive effects on division times which, in turn, amplify T cell number exponentially. These results explain why so many ligands can each appear obligatory for T cell activation and argue for a re-examination of the two-signal theory as the basis for decisions between tolerance and activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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